Jailing child-support delinquents is not the answer: Guy Joseph

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Jailing child-support delinquents is not the answer: Guy Joseph
Guy Joseph
Guy Joseph

Supporting the notion that crime should be tackled in a holistic manner, Minister for Economic Development, Guy Joseph, has said that dealing with small infractions of the law at a time can bring about some much needed change with regard to crime.

One such infraction, according to him, is child support laws. The minister believes that incarcerating a father who is unable to pay court-ordered child support due to unemployment, is more costly than a father finding a job and paying child support fees from salary deductions.

“Now, there are men who are delinquent in their responsibilities. And in the process, if they’re working and they don’t want to feed their child there must be consequences. But at the same time, wouldn’t it be more productive for us as a society, to find a job and deduct the money, and see that the child is fed than to populate Bordelais where it is costing more to keep him than it is costing to feed the child?” he asked.

Joseph was addressing a one-day crime symposium last week in which private and public sector stakeholders came together to deliberate on ways to deal with rising crime in Saint Lucia.

The economic development minister did not give an indication as to whether a change in these laws would be on the cards soon.

Moreover, Joseph called for more creative ways to dealing with crime in St. Lucia.

“We are all responsible,” he said while complimenting Opposition Leader Philip J. Pierre, who first proposed the symposium, for attending and accepting that “crime is not a political issue”.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Most of these men who are crying to the Court that they do not have money to support their children, just happen to have money to take other women out and to go to the rum shops. It's all a matter of priorities. Many of them also refuse to support their children if the mother is not sleeping with them after they have separated.

    Why does the Court want to investigate the finding of a foetus in a garbage dump if this is how the law treats women in this country? She may have two children whose fathers are not supporting them. She started dating this other guy to get some help financially, but when she got pregnant things turned sour- since most of them want the sex but not the responsibility. If she knows that this bastard will get away scott free in the Court and she will be left with three kids to take care of on her own, with no job and no skills, what do people expect her to do? Women who do these things in countries like England and Canada are arrested because there are options. There are forms of government support. France gives single women housing and a stipend every month.What are the options in St. Lucia for women in these situations? If we are honest enough to admit it, the fact is there are none. The least she could hope for was to get that $200 every month. With the cost of living that hardly covers bus fare for the child to go to school. Now people like Guy Joseph want to take even that away. If family laws especially child support laws are not enacted and enforced in St. Lucia, this will just be the beginning of social problems in this country.

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  2. Having analysed the argument I will conclude by saying, once again I will
    agree there with Wam. They can"t have it both ways. In their manner,
    don't want to have kids (God help any kids that have to live under such conditions)
    got to suffer with some inferiority complex, going to school with kids who will not
    forgive you when you step out of line. Like the kid that said, my dad said this, one of
    his friends said, "which one of your fathers"? It's bad - not only bad, but very sad indeed.

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  3. Not paying child support is no small infraction – it goes hand in glove with other parental responsibilities that develops the child economically, intellectually, socially, emotional and culturally. When the parent removes himself for the family sphere, he creates a vacuum which the other parent cannot fulfil. Nature abhor a vacuum, and do it comes as no surprise that the child’s peers and the streets shapes the child’s mind and behaviour and will have more influence than the parents. In short, society at large pays for ‘small infractions’ in gang related crimes, suicides, rapes and murders, the list goes on!

    However, if a woman refuses to look after her family, she is supported after a fashion. She is subjected to psychiatric assessment and given some help to take up her responsibilities. It seems a man is only assessed financially and nothing is done about his emotional responses. A right thinking man would not expose his child or children to extreme poverty and the perils of the streets!
    I suggest, men who commit this ‘small infraction’ of refusing to pay child support should be psychologically assessed and given counselling in order to take up their parental responsibilities - if this support is not already provided.

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  4. LOL I hope he decides to pay the CDP contractors and payoff the interest so that they and their workers can pay their child support. Damn hypocrite.

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  5. I agree.. I also think the child support amount is too little especially for a parent who can afford to do much more

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  6. When men do not want to honour their responsibilities, no government can make them. Most ministers are males and will argue eloquently that putting men in jail will harm the country! How hopeless that excuse makes the impoverished families, the government as a body and most of all the struggling mothers. Allowing wilful father to continue not maintaining their children emasculates the government! These families need a government with balls which will stop these fathers from punishing their children, and the country by withholding their contributions!

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  7. Give Jack his jacket - Guy that makes perfect sense.

    That said, please let the Nation know your position with your Bribery attempts to Richard Frederick and Stephenson King.

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  8. Constructive words from Guy there. I also think that prisoners need to endure hard labour during their prison stay. They can be used to repair road, schools, landscaping of public areas, clean ups and other government undertakings requiring hard manual labour. The concept of I will commit a crime and go get fat and enjoy my stay in prison must go. Prison needs to be a place no one wants to go.

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    • This makes absolute perfect sense . that will be their way of giving back after eating all our HARD EARNED monies .

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  9. yes these are the things i want to hear about these things that make sense even if it means we have to amend the laws so that the children can eat and not nonsense and nastiness about these LGBT jackasses. let us focus our energy on much more important and worthy things.

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      • I think I could identify what @ g.w. is saying. The notion that same sex acts must be viewed in the same light as normal like sex between male and female couples is fundamentally flawed. The LGBT people have received a moratorium on breaking the law. That law stems from religious, cultural and factual origins. Now I don't think this should be taken a step further to say that people should have a right to have sex with whoever or whatever they like because there are also rules which govern the sexual interactions with children, relatives and animals. So if LGBT is allowed to break these laws and societal norms indiscriminately then it has implications for the others. Recently a woman in Sweden sued the government for her right to have sex with her uncle. In another revelation scientists now say that child sexual abuse and pornography is more likely to be a sexual orientation rather than an intentional crime. So we have witnessed infractions against incest and pedophilia laws just because the LGBT lobby has opened the flood gates. This comes from a focused push to legitimize that which all people know is wrong and has no benefit. It was previously aligned to AIDS prevention now it has found its cover in human rights. It is just an attempt to shield this vice. The LGBT lobby is now using as a defense that "there are many undercover gays in our society." But my argument is of what relevance is that argument if crime is an undercover activity anyway.

        So by referring to those concerned as jackasses g.w. may have been referring to the whole irony and seemingly nonsensical nature of the argument.

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        • You and gw are a cut of the same cloth, offering no enlightening discussion but gabbled, spewed up prejudices against the LGBT community!

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          • So what is your enlightening discussion? You want to mount and sex whatever and whoever you want? Is that it? Tell me what is your argument or disagreement with what I said. I don't think you have one point other than "I just want to sex anything or anybody that I want."

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